Rates increase, not programing

Rates increase, not programing

I am writing in response to the letter to the editor that ran on Aug. 25 regarding the Big Ten Network and Armstrong Cable. There are a few important points that should be mentioned.

If Armstrong wants to keep rates low, why have they raised their rates $8 a month since the Big Ten Network launched in 2007 while not adding one new channel to its expanded basic lineup? Armstrong has collected an average $288 in rate hikes from each of its expanded basic cable subscribers during that time period and yet, Armstrong has not yet delivered the Big Ten Network. That’s what doesn’t make sense.

To date, more than 20 million people in the eight Big Ten states get the network on their expanded basic cable or equivalent from network affiliates. Those companies include some of the largest and smallest television providers in the country — such as Time Warner Cable, which operates in the Youngstown area, and is one of the nation’s largest cable companies — as well as Shen-Heights Cable Company, serving 2,000 subscribers in Pennsylvania. These cable companies have all agreed to carry the network under very similar contract terms. In all, more than 300 cable companies and both satellite companies across the U.S. and Canada offer the network to more than 75 million people.

Ohio State kicks its season off on the network this Thursday against Marshall and Penn State takes on Youngstown State on Saturday — just two of the more than 400 live events network subscribers will see, in addition to all our new studio programming. Armstrong customers should know that they have other options to get the network — and if they haven’t already, they should start pursuing them.

Mark Silverman, Chicago

The writer is president of the Big Ten Network.